Vladimir Putin in Crimea on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of its annexation by Russia
On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Crimea, which Russia annexed exactly nine years ago. A surprise visit a day after an international arrest warrant was issued against him.
This visit to Crimea on Saturday, marking the ninth anniversary of the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula by Russia, comes the day after the issuance of a memorandum An international arrest warrant against the Russian president. At the beginning of December, the Russian president visited the Crimean bridge, less than two months after it exploded.
Arriving in Sevastopol, the main port of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony of a children’s art school in the company of local governor Mikhail Razugayev, according to images broadcast by public TV Channel Russia. -1.
near the front line
This city is located only about 240 kilometers from Kherson, a city in southern Ukraine that was captured by the Kiev army in November after the withdrawal of Russian forces. This exodus of Vladimir Putin is also the first exodus to be carried out so close. front line.
“Our president, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, knows how to surprise. In the good sense of the word,” wrote Mikhail Razvogaev in Telegram. According to him, the children’s art school was scheduled to open on Saturday, with the participation of the Russian leader via video link.
“But Vladimir Vladimirovich came himself. He was driving. Because on a historic day like today, he was always with Sevastopol and its people,” said Mikhail Razvogaev.
“Our country has an incredible leader!”
Russia annexed Crimea on March 18, 2014, after a referendum that was not recognized by Kiev and the international community. affiliate International sanctions It had already been imposed on Russia after this annexation. Those related to the invasion of Ukraine in 2022 have now been added.
international arrest warrant
If Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in January that he intends to return Crimea – “our land” – With weapons, Moscow continues to assert that “Crimea is Russian”, refusing to make it the subject of any peace negotiations.
Vladimir Putin, whose last visit to Crimea dates back to November 2021, has been targeted since Friday with an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court, accusing him of the war crime of “illegal deportation” of a Ukrainian. children.
The Kremlin rulesnullThe memorandum, announced for release on the same day that Moscow and Beijing revealed that Chinese leader Xi Jinping will visit Russia next week, aims to usher in a “new era” in relations between the two allies.
This visit will take place from March 20 to 22, just over a year after the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine that prompted the Kremlin to reorient itself towards China, amid tensions with the West, which supports ‘Ukraine’.
China wants to impose itself as a mediator
Last month , China sought to impose itself as a mediator In the Ukrainian conflict by issuing a document urging Moscow and Kiev to hold peace talks. On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Chen Gang, in a phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, once again urged Kiev and Moscow to resume peace talks “as soon as possible.”
“We have repeatedly stated that we are open to really serious proposals from the West and Ukraine on resolving the crisis by political and diplomatic means,” Russian diplomatic spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday.
And she stressed that “the language of ultimatums is unacceptable to us,” calling in particular for “the lifting of all illegal sanctions and the abolition of all measures against Russia in international judicial bodies.”